David Aaronovitch Posts Fake Book Reviews and Lies About Why

by craig on April 23, 2014 10:25 am in Uncategorized

David Aaronovitch entered into a conspiracy with others to post fake 5 star reviews of his last shoddy book on Amazon.  He now lies about why.  He has attempted to defuse the row by coming clean and making light, courtesy of his Murdoch employer.

But his explanation is a plain lie.  Aaronovitch claims that :

“almost before my book was published, the first 1-star reviews started to appear, from people who had never read it. After a week, even I wouldn’t have bought it.”

In fact, the very first eight reviews on Amazon were all five star - which by his own argument must be “from people who had never read it”.  That is very probably true, as the first two five star reviews were posted on the very day the book was released, 7 May 2009. In fact the average rating of the first reviews is very much higher than the average rating he gets from the general public overall, extremely suspiciously so.  (One remote possibility is he was getting Amazon to delete critical reviews, but that also would negate his justification for procuring the fake positive reviews).

He claims “After a week even I wouldn’t have bought it”.  In fact, after a week it was averaging a literally unbelievable five stars.  It was a full month before the first one star review arrived. Then it was from an amazon real name verified customer who Aaronovitch plainly does not think should be entitled to their opinion.

His excuse for this attempt to defraud the public by planting false reviews of his product is, quite simply, a lie.  Aaronovitch is a liar.  Which makes you worry a little about his journalistic standards otherwise, does it not? It is an interesting glimpse into the dark mind of one of the leading propagandists for the Iraq War.

It seems that Aaronovitch with others entered a conspiracy to boost book sales through fraudulent reviews.  Which as his book in question argues that pro-establishment conspiracies never have existed, is rather ironic. I do not regard this as a minor dereliction.  I believe it opens serious questions about a journalist’s integrity.  In the days when the Times was a respectable newspaper, it would have led to Aaronovitch’s dismissal.

I should say I have never asked anybody to post a positive review of one of my books on Amazon.  I am happy to say that Murder in Samarkand has a much higher star review rating than Voodoo Histories, and unlike Aaronovitch I did not have to cheat to get it.  Only one of my 49 reviews by “Biodiplomacy” is actually from a friend but I did not ask him to do it, and I am sure in any circumstances he would give his honest opinion. He often disagrees with me in comments here!

I am conscious that one probable consequence of this posting is that neo-con trolls will now bomb Murder in Samarkand with bad reviews.  I very much welcome reviews, good, bad, or indifferent, from anybody who has honestly read the book and is giving their genuine opinion.

This is an extract from the article in the Times where Aaronovitch admits to his fraud, and lies about the cause. I can’t link to it because it was behind a paywall.  To Mr Murdoch’s copyright lawyers, I am quoting a brief extract for the purpose of legitimate analysis and debate.  If you have any sense, you would realize I am also doing you a favour by exposing your star columnist as a cheat and a fraud:

Something like half of all book sales are now made through Amazon, and when you find a book on Amazon it is accompanied by reviews from “readers” who give it a 1 (lowest) to 5 star rating.  So, almost before my book was published, the first 1-star reviews started to appear, from people who had never read it. After a week, even I wouldn’t have bought it.

There is only one thing you can do in this situation. You ask every friend and family member to go onsite PDQ and 5-star your baby. You get your frauds to balance off their frauds. Ce n’est pas magnifique, mais (grâce à Amazon) c’est la guerre.

Actually, David, ce n’est pas la guerre.  La guerre is what you supported so enthusiastically in Iraq, and involves the blasting to pieces of young children, the rape of countless women, the end of hundreds of thousands of lives and the wrecking of millions more.  It involves the destruction of the infrastructure of countries and the loss of decades of economic development, and a ruinous expense to our own economy.  It involves the bombing of densely packed urban areas in Gaza, for which you are an enthusiast, and from which the terror and suffering is something you will never understand.  For you just sit here in the highly paid heart of the warmongering Murdoch establishment, and indulge in lies and cheats to further your income and your grubby little career.

 

 

 

 

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82 Comments

  1. Something tells me Aaronovitch is off the Christmas card list…Not having read any of his or your books, I am now at a loss whom (if either) I should read.
    Jumping massively out of topic, a question in which I am more interested is ‘Intervention: if, when, where, how and who decides?’ Saw that Rory Stewart and Gerald Knaus have tackled it but it is the issue of our time. Reflecting on Rwanda and Iraq II…No easy answers.
    Kind regards
    Nick

    PS I was opposed to IraqII as I believed then (and now) that Hussein was sufficiently contained and linked (falsely) to Sept 11th as a pretext

  2. Nick,

    Well, if you did read my books you would gain some very apposite information towards formulating your answer to your question!

  3. “David Aaronovitch entered into a conspiracy with others to post fake 5 star reviews of his last shoddy book”

    Have you read the book?

  4. Barbara Brown

    23 Apr, 2014 - 11:02 am

    Murder in Samarkand is on my shelf. I enjoyed it and learned from it.
    Aaronovitch is a big girl’s blouse.

  5. Nick Crosby, 10:39 am, you can read one of Craig’s books, here:

    http://www.killick1.plus.com/craig.html

    There weren’t many printed so if you want it on paper expect to pay about sixty quid for a used copy.

  6. It’s quite normal for reviews to pop up on the day a book is released – they generally come from people who have been sent advance copies by the publisher before publication and they do tend to be favourable as the publisher will target readers who are likely to like the books. It’s also not that unbelievable to have five-star ratings later on as people don’t tend to bother going to do reviews unless they’ve just read a book and are feeling enthusiastic about it.

  7. As the author of the 3rd Amazon review of Murder in Samarkand (Sabretache 13 July 2006) and who assisted in disseminating the pdf drafts that preceded it:

    Bloody well said Craig!!!

    Aaronovitch really is an arch-Zionist shyster and it warms the cockles to see yet more unvarnished evidence of it.

  8. Hear! Hear! Wikispooks. Craig’s on fire. Thought the naysayers/supporters of the paleocons would be in quickly.

  9. Moniker

    Aaronovitch has actually admitted the reviews were fake. It’s a bit otiose to argue they were not.

  10. Ba'al Zevul (Flames 'R' Us)

    23 Apr, 2014 - 11:51 am

    Having read some of Aaronovitch’s opinions on everything, and noting that his information base and right to an opinion are no better than my own, I have never been moved to read a book by him, far less buy one. He’s a Murdoch hack, and this summarises him:

    (2003) “If nothing is eventually found, I – as a supporter of the war – will never believe another thing that I am told by our government, or that of the US ever again. And, more to the point, neither will anyone else. Those weapons had better be there somewhere.”

    (2013) http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/columnists/davidaaronovitch/article3694379.ece
    (paywall, sorry, but you get the drift)

    Further reading –

    http://azvsas.blogspot.co.uk/2009/04/humiliation-of-david-aaronovitch.html

    When he realised that the applause had gone to Atzmon instead, Aaronovitch threw an almighty tantrum, as befits someone who believes that his lifeless and reactionary prose contains undreamt of pearls of wisdom. How, he wondered, could people applaud an anti-Semite as opposed to an imperialist? And the answer is so obvious that even someone in possession of Aaronovitch’s mediocre talents might be expected to work it out. The wars and blockades that Aaronovitch has supported in different parts of the world have killed upwards of 2 million people. Atzmon’s anti-Semitism has killed no one because, as far as I’m aware, death by boredom cannot be entered as a cause of death on a death certificate.

  11. He’s away and troughing it if this is any indication.

    David Aaronovitch @DAaronovitch · Apr 22
    Visiting Vienna for the first time this week. Then Graz, then Sarajevo. Restaurant/cafe recommendations gratefully received.

    https://twitter.com/DAaronovitch

  12. Craig: I sounded like I was arguing for him – I wasn’t. Just bunging in some info. Personally, I rarely believe anything that happens on Amazon. Seen too many piles of disinformation there. I decide whether to pick books up according to what the authors have to say, and what readers I know say about the books… for which reason, I have never picked up an Aaronovitch book.

  13. Ba'al Zevul (Flames 'R' Us)

    23 Apr, 2014 - 12:06 pm

    He’s another of those buggers who’s famous for being famous – to stretch the meaning of ‘famous’ to breaking point – and ‘famous’ in the first place due to the volume with which he blows his own trumpet. The Beeb wheels him in occasionally in place of anyone who knows what they’re talking about, under the journo Old Pals’ Act. Meh.

  14. Amazon will remove reviews for a number of reasons including any coming from reviewers who may have a personal or financial connection with the the work. Anyway the US branch gives a different picture with at least three one star reviews pre-dating the book’s American release and from people who clearly haven’t read it:-

    http://www.amazon.com/Voodoo-Histories-Conspiracy-Shaping-History/product-reviews/B0040RMEM6/ref=cm_cr_pr_top_link_2?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addOneStar&pageNumber=2&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

    By describing the book as “shoddy” Craig can we assume that you’ve read it and disagree with it’s conclusions or is it just that as it’s author is a Zionist anything and everything he writes has to be condemned without question?

  15. “David Aaronovitch entered into a conspiracy with others to post fake 5 star reviews of his last shoddy book”

    Have you read the book?

  16. Ba'al Zevul (Flames 'R' Us)

    23 Apr, 2014 - 12:30 pm

    Went to the link – Kempe. The one-star reviews are heavily dominated by people who clearly had read the book, and most of whom disliked it enough to spend some time detailing why. Regardless of the review date. Of the five-star reviews, I recommend that of Philip M Rose, which is by no means as uncritical as its star rating might suggest, and dissects A’s more questionable assertions quite forensically. One quote must suffice:

    Nice, eh? What happens to you when you criticize Dave’s religio/politico ideology/belief/identity?

    Good question.

  17. Kempe

    I summarised it for you here

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/05/brutus_acted_al/

    Would my not having read it make Aaronovitch’s procurement of fake reviews OK in some way? What precisely is your point?

  18. Readers’ reviews on Amazon – and Craig’s mention of my review of “Murder” – contain another story worth telling. With an efficient memory (ie one that is good at forgetting), I write them to make me read books more carefully and to remember what I have read. As Craig says, I alone choose what to review and how.

    Reviewing “Murder” was an eye-opener. My review appeared on Amazon.co.uk but disappeared after less than a day. In a long correspondence it emerged that the company considered that the mention of Tony Blair in my opening sentences was unacceptably personal:

    “Few of us have done battle with a murderous dictator. “Murder in Samarkand” tells how a British Ambassador did so and survived, only to be stabbed in the back by his own Prime Minister. Tony Blair ignored diplomatic advice if it complicated his relations with George W. Bush.”

    I then remembered that there is no sharing of reviews on the Amazon.co.uk amd Amazon.com websites. That’s sensible, because reviewers, especially of political books, need to take account of different assumptions – as well as spelling – when writing for US or UK audiences. So, my next move was to submit a review to Amazon.com, different in several respects from the blocked one for Amazon.co.uk but starting with the same reference to Blair. That review appeared immediately and is still there on Amazon.com

    After much thought, I decided to swallow my indignation. Since I was keen that the book should have many readers in the UK, I submitted a revised review, with no direct mention of Tony Blair, to Amazon.co.uk . It was accepted and is still there.

    There’s a fundamental lesson here about freedom of speech – better protected by the US Constitution than it is by the UK’s “unwritten constitution” and the common law.

  19. There was a link to the Aa piece which is behind the paywall.
    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/article4068308.ece

    Murdoch is trying to lure people in with an offer of 30 days digital for £1 (more than it’s worth) which then reverts to £6.

    All half price! http://store2.thetimes.co.uk/?ILC=INT-TNL_The_Times-homepage-toplink-5_28_2013_-64#packs

    There do not seem to be any bogofs to include the Soaraway Sun which has its own paywall. Imagine paying for it!

    The advertising for Sky subscriptions is intensive on Sky News. Murdoch’s MPyre not going down surely? Poor old Lizard. Wendi fancied BLiar’s legs and rear end too.

  20. Neil Saunders

    23 Apr, 2014 - 12:55 pm

    Not the first or the last to perpetrate “Readola” on Amazon, I’ll wager.

  21. foolish book buyer

    23 Apr, 2014 - 1:13 pm

    Who buys anything on the basis of Amazon reviews anyway? I have read Craig’s two books (one from the Library and the other partly free online and partly at the shelf in Foyles) and for what its worth recommend both. In fact I wouldn’t be reading this blog if I hadn’t read them. Craig – why don’t you write a book on conspiracy theories? I would buy a copy.

  22. Aaronovitch is a toadying NeoCon puppet-shill who no doubt gets paid in brown envelopes by his spooky paymasters-as long as he writes what he is told.

    A busted flush years ago and as far removed from integrity and what a real journalist is as possible.

  23. “I very much welcome reviews, good, bad, or indifferent, from anybody who has honestly read the book and is giving their genuine opinion.”

    Did you read Aaaronovitch’s book before calling it “shoddy”?

  24. Hyphen Press

    23 Apr, 2014 - 1:40 pm

    Aaronovitch shows his true colours by climbing down into the pit of Amazon. If he had any sense of morality he’d stay clear of the beast: tax-dodging, employee-punishing, manically über-Capitalist. Seen in the perspective of Jeff Bezos, Rupert Murdoch is a kind-hearted social-democrat.

  25. Hi Craig

    you quote Aaronovitch as admitting this. Where are your quotes from?

    Ian Sinclair

  26. Thank you Craig, this over rated hack was asking for it for a long time, he deserves the full broadside. I switched him off on question time, nor will I read what he writes.
    Same goes for Ms.Phillips.
    And thanks to Ian for letting us know about Amazons avoidance of the Parliamentary liars name, whenever it suits them, that is.

  27. Posting fraudulent reviews is inexcusable. I will not buy Aaronovitch’s book again. :)

  28. Ian Sinclair

    From yesterday’s Times. Behind the Murdoch paywall.

  29. Comment thread on Medialens about this post by Craig.

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/thread/1398251645.html

    ~~~

    Yes very interesting info from Iain Orr. Thanks.

    ~~~

    Unheard of on the BBC. Frank Gardner actually used the phrase ‘war criminal’ in his video piece about BLiar’s latest warmongering when describing what is said about him by the people!

  30. ” Would my not having read it make Aaronovitch’s procurement of fake reviews OK in some way? What precisely is your point? ‘

    My point is if you haven’t read the book how do you know it’s “shoddy”? Anon is asking the same question. Can we assume that the answer is no?

  31. Ian Sinclair Is it inquisitive of me to ask if you are this Ian Sinclair?
    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/thread/1396869781.html

    The other day I put a link here to your public meeting with Ian Gibson in Norwich on 29th April.
    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1397894533.html

  32. ” Aaronovitch is a toadying NeoCon puppet-shill who no doubt gets paid in brown envelopes by his spooky paymasters-as long as he writes what he is told. ”

    There we go. Exactly the point I was making on another thread. He’s got to be a “shill”.

  33. David Aaronovitch is an unprincipled liar in my book, and I hope he goes to court over such claims.

    In the run-up to Saddam’s ouster, he wrote a vague column, for The Times as I recall, claiming that demonstrations against it, apparently in Stockholm, were just composed by lazy, self-serving socialists who had nothing better to do.

    Since I had attended them with my rather non-political girlfriend, I wrote him about his most false claims, and he responded by claiming he was writing about demonstrations elsewhere, in Australia as I recall, but I responded that it was just more porkies by him. He did not reply as I recall.

    The guy is just the worst kind of hack who will work for anyone who pays him for any convenient rubbish.

  34. Aaronovitch is the same as novelist and sock-puppeteer E J Ellory mentioned and linked in my last blog. Sock-puppeteers and sock puppeteers by proxy are shameless and need exposing.

  35. Kempe.

    If you can’t spot an obvious shill like Aaronovitch then you really need to get out more.

    Unless you are also a shill paid to defend other shills of course.

  36. So then trolls…do we need to read,say,Jeffery Archer to know his books are shoddy?

    Duh!

  37. Frank Gardner someone said?

    There’s yet another media shill from Goebbels Central Casting.

  38. Aaronovitch and ‘Voodoo Histories’ is an attempt to ‘ring-fence’ deception simply by connecting deceit with relativism and declaring a subjective reassuring human urge for causality. Aaronovitch supports this attempt to invoke order from chaos in a number of ways.

    Occams razor is served up for ‘starters’ convincing the reader that the complexity of fabricating a deception involving thousands of potential witnesses such as the bloodline of Jesus, the murder of Diana princess of Wales, the ‘moon landing’ illusion and prior awareness of the attacks on the World Trade Center etc are beyond reason.

    Interestingly the gentle and modest so called ‘conspiracy theorist’ John Anthony Hill who was appallingly extradited from Ireland, and imprisoned while awaiting “trial”, used ‘Occams Razor’ to dissect 7/7 in his ‘Ripple Effect’ and this follow up:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNnyctcE4eQ#t=260

    Some will posit here that John Hill reinforces the ‘voodoo’ argument. I, myself chronicle Mossad’s maxim ‘בתחבולות תעשה לך מלחמה’ which means: ‘For by wise counsel thou shalt wage thy war’ or literally ‘By way of deception, thou shalt do war which provoked change recently to ‘באין תחבולות יפול עם, ותשועה ברוב יועץ‎’ or translated ‘Where no counsel is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs XI, 14)

    On that biblical plane wisdom is praised for her role in creation; God acquired her before all else, and through her he gave order to chaos.

    That wisdom may exempt John Hill from his indulgence and condemn Aaronovitch to pudency.

  39. Mark Golding ^

    Excellent post.

    Aaronovitch specialises in the laziest weakest form of “journalism” around i.e. always believe and reinforce the Establishment line at all times,never question them and ridicule those brave and intellectually rigorous enough who do.

    History has repeatedly shown the folly of blind obedience to the Establishment narrative.

    Aaronovitch is a weak and intellectually shallow toady hack.

  40. Kempe: “There we go. Exactly the point I was making on another thread. He’s got to be a “shill”.”
    Allow me to supply the link for you.
    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/04/a-key-test-for-international-law/#comment-453501
    However, are you sure it’s wise to draw attention to your comment on that thread? It rather lost you any credibility on this subject, not to mention showed you up for someone who hasn’t even got the grace to apologise when proved to be making false smears about another poster.
    Don’t you agree that the least you should do under the circumstances is to leave discussion of this topic to people who understand it better than you?

  41. Ian Sinclair

    23 Apr, 2014 - 7:29 pm

    Hi Mary

    Yes, this is me. Thanks for posting a link here.

    Ian

  42. Jives

    “Do we need to read,say,Jeffery Archer to know his books are shoddy?”

    No, but Craig made the point about needing to read a book before judging it and now refuses to confirm whether he has read Aaaronovitch’s book, which he calls “shoddy”.

  43. Neil Saunders

    23 Apr, 2014 - 8:04 pm

    It’s about time that Robin Ramsay updated his excellent little Pocket Essentials book, “Conspiracy Theories”, or – better still – wrote a new, full-length treatment of the subject. This would be a useful corrective to the sort of drivel put out by faux-liberal, establishment hacks like Aaronovitch.

  44. Robert Lewis

    23 Apr, 2014 - 8:30 pm

    I had the dubious pleasure of seeing my book reviewed by Aaronovitch in The Times. It was not the worst review I’d had (Nick Cohen and Tom Mangold were yet to come) but let us just say it was a rather biased critique – as you might imagine. So I was heartened to read your blog today, Craig. This news had passed me by entirely.

    “You get your frauds to balance off their frauds.” There speaks a man entirely unburdened by any duty towards intellectual objectivity. Also a rather telling use of the third person plural, n’est-ce pas? Them, their. ‘Twas once branded the hallmark of the loony, this projection of negative reality onto some malicious, conniving other. It was Aaronovitch himself who argued so. But no, it is merely human nature, and thus the shortcomings of Voodoo Histories and its author are revealed.

    Bad work outs in time.

    Thanks again Craig, it’s good to see you posting more often after your hiatus a while back.

  45. Always amused me that Aaronovitch is on the BBC to represent the left-wing viewpoint in BBC news debate programmes, along with a female Telegraph columnist to represent the right. Tells you a lot about how narrow and right wing the BBC’s spectrum of supposedly acceptable political opinion is – it goes from Blairism (centre-right) to the right wing of the Conservative party.

  46. ” Don’t you agree that the least you should do under the circumstances is to leave discussion of this topic to people who understand it better than you? ”

    I might consider it if one were ever to come along.

    If anything Aaronovitch didn’t go far enough, sure Voodoo Histories was published before Sandy Hook and Boston so he wasn’t able to cover the despicable hounding of victims and the bereaved by sick individuals convinced that they’re actors but he didn’t discuss the anti-vaccination/big pharma or the HIV/AIDS conspiracies the last of which is estimated to have caused 300,000 deaths in South Africa. The 9/11 movement has moved on since 2009 too with Truthers being increasingly split between the advocates of the “no planes” theories and the rest.

  47. The more times I read this piece by Craig, the more I am moved by his words, especially the final paragraph. The slaughter and the horror were NOT DONE IN OUR NAME BLiar and Aaronovitch.

    It is so good to see so many new names and some familiar ones from earlier days with not a peep from the usual dreary troll.

    PS Thanks for responding Ian. Good luck with your meeting. I expect you know that Craig respected Ian Gibson.

    Some of his posts in 2009 when he was standing in the by election in Norwich North…..

    BBC Prioritises BNP
    by craig on Jul 5th 2009 in Norwich North!, The Election
    Totally out of touch with public mood, the BBC is prioritising political parties – any political party – over an independent candidate, even a serious one. The BBC’s Michael Crick has denied any bias by the BBC in refusing to cover me on Newsnight. In Today’s Independent on Sunday, Michael Crick states: “Oh yes, that’s […]

    By-Election Latest
    by craig on Jul 1st 2009 in Norwich North!, The Election
    Conservatives 1/5 Labour 9/2 Greens 12/1 Craig Murray 25/1 Ian Gibson 33/1 Liberal Democrats 33/1 UKIP 100/1 BNP 200/1 Bill Holden 200/1 Libertarian Party 500/1 Official Monster Raving Loony 1000/1 (Ladbrokes) From the doorstep experience, I think that is basically the right running order if the election were held today. Fortunately it isn’t, and we […]

    I Am Standing in Norwich North
    by craig on Jun 5th 2009 in Norwich North!, The Election
    There is to be a by-election in Norwich North. I shall be standing as an independent, anti-sleaze candidate. Dr Ian Gibson was a good MP, and has done the honourable thing – unlike so many others – by standing down as an MP now. As it happens, my lifelong friend and best man, Marcus Armes, […]

  48. Kempe:

    ” Don’t you agree that the least you should do under the circumstances is to leave discussion of this topic to people who understand it better than you? ”

    I might consider it if one were ever to come along.

    #~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~#

    Well, you were the only one to fail the Is Aaronovitch a hypocritical lying fraud? test.

    When unconfirmed reports of his dishonesty first reached this blog, everybody else correctly assessed that the story was perfectly plausible, i.e. it was consistent with his known greed, tacky morals, and low journalistic standards.

    You on the other hand went so far as to put on record …..
    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/04/a-key-test-for-international-law/#comment-453501
    …. your doubts that the story could be true and identified with him as another misunderstood shill. You even contrived an elaborate conspiracy theory that the “Truthers” on the blog were sowing disinformation and smearing this fine chap.

    I cringed with embarrassment for you when we received confirmation that Aaronovitch was indeed an unscrupulous cheating liar. However, I would not be doing you any favour if I didn’t point out that the incident has impacted badly on your credibility as a judge of what is honest and decent. In future when you cite the opinion of yet another extreme right fanatic, we may not be as indulgent as previously.

    A wee tip. Don’t opine on matters you don’t understand. Just ask. Any of us here would be happy to explain some of the tricky stuff to you.

  49. Nick, while I disagree strongly with Rory Stewart he is intelligent and knowledgeable and his books and articles are an interesting read. David Aaronovitch is hugely ignorant of the subjects he writes about and worse, like Blair, has no interest in any facts that might go against what he has already decided is the truth.

    Craig Murray writes honest, interesting and surprising books which are also often very funny and will open your eyes to how governments and diplomacy actually work. I assumed when i bought Murder in Samarkand that i already knew most of the facts from reading articles on Uzbekistan and on Murray’s hounding by the foreign office. I was wrong and i learned a great deal from the book. The Catholic Orangemen of Togo is also well worth reading, especially on the Sierra Leone conflict and peace process.

  50. Alas the Cohen’s and Aaronovitch of journalism suffer the same ignorance as most politicians: Historical. Bliar was, allegedly, famous for knowing fuck all about History, but he at least has the excuse of suffering from a profound psychological disorder. Not so Cohen and Aaronovitch. They basically are unable to see themselves as what they are: propagandists for war. History is full of such journalism.

    It would be almost forgiveable were it not for their bullying. One may disagree with a postion – but Cohen Aaronovitch have never accepted this simple proposition. They bully, hector, lie, and smear, and accuse anyone who disagree’s of cowardice and Islamofacism. I personally know what to make of such arguments – they mirror the Marxism they despise. I also know that neither of them are capable of understanding the Iraq death-toll, for which I almost pity them.

    On the book review, he should be sacked. He won’t be though. Just don’t read the newspapers is my advice.

  51. ” When unconfirmed reports of his dishonesty first reached this blog, everybody else correctly assessed that the story was perfectly plausible ”

    You mean you jumped to the conclusion that you wanted to believe on the basis of no evidence whilst some of us waited until we had the facts. You were only right by chance. Although it’s standard practive amongst Truthers forming an opinion on no evidence isn’t a sound practice.

  52. This is an archived copy of the Amazon page from 6th May 2009:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20090506012638/http://www.amazon.co.uk/Voodoo-Histories-Conspiracy-Shaping-History/dp/0224074709

    The first review was a 1 star review, written on 4th May.

  53. Zionist shill to sell the war in Iraq.

  54. I read the book and enjoyed it a great deal. It is informative, witty and I learned some stuff. Am I the only one?

  55. Kempe:

    “You mean you jumped to the conclusion that you wanted to believe on the basis of no evidence whilst some of us waited until we had the facts. You were only right by chance. Although it’s standard practive amongst Truthers forming an opinion on no evidence isn’t a sound practice.”

    As you confirm, we immediately got it right. You took longer to get it wrong.
    Your response is so weak that I conclude you have no further defence to offer.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Action: terminate conversation
    Summary: spanking administered, humiliation complete
    Recommendations: set credibility ratings of subject to low
    Conclusions: subject unable or unwilling to be helped
    File under: agents of disinformation

    ~~~~~~~~ [Case Closed] ~~~~~~~~~

  56. ” The first review was a 1 star review, written on 4th May. ”

    Three days before the book was published. Thank you.

    ” I read the book and enjoyed it a great deal. It is informative, witty and I learned some stuff. Am I the only one? ”

    Not by any means; The book has had a lot of very favourable reviews. It’s only Truthers who’ve never read it who are so uncomfortable with it’s conclusions.

    ” Action: terminate conversation ”

    Ah, running away. Bye bye.

  57. “It’s only Truthers who’ve never read it who are so uncomfortable with it’s conclusions”

    As a confirmed “Truther” I can confirm that I read his chapter on 911 (a particular interest of mine) and it caused no discomfort whatsoever. On the contrary, I thought it was excellent.

    I particularly enjoyed the bit where he ties himself up in knots trying to explain how Atta’s passport might be found in the rubble (while the black box recorders apparently
    turned to dust), clearly oblivious of the fact that in 2002 the FBI had withdrawn that piece of evidence, dismissing it as merely “a rumour”. Pure magic!

  58. Kempe

    Yes, there was a single one star review before publication, closely followed by a five star one. If you use the wayback machine to find the next save, you find that by 12 May the average was 3.5, and a balance of one star ones – from people who do seem pretty well to know what is in the book in detail – and five star ones, from people procured by Aaronovich.

    Then what happens? Amazon deletes the one star reviews and does not delete the five star reviews, put up in exactly the same timescale. Is that a treatment they give to every author? Why did Amazon do this? Why did they remove one star ratings and none of the five star ratings? I think we should be told.

    It is interesting because in the case of Murder in Samarkand at least four positive reviews have been deleted by Amazon from time to time. I don’t know why but see Biodiplomacy’s comment above oh his review being deleted for naming Tony Blair. No negative review of Murder in Samarkand by Amazon has ever been deleted. Does the difference reflect a political agenda in which books they boost?

  59. As is now universally acknowledged there was an industrial scale extraoedinary rendition/torture programme in place for many years after 9/11.

    When questioned in the House Jack Straw denied this as “conspiracy theory”.

    Exactly the same disgusting tactic employed by Aaronovitch when he seeks to shamelessly lie on behalf of his paymasters.

    Why hasn’t Straw been hauled before the courts for such blatant lies?

  60. James
    24 Apr, 2014 – 9:15 am
    I read the book and enjoyed it a great deal. It is informative, witty and I learned some stuff. Am I the only one?

    The only what? A PR for Aaronovitch? ;) Or perhaps a Murdoch employee?

    Aa still not tweeted. Studiously avoiding all mention of Craig’s piece.

    https://twitter.com/DAaronovitch

  61. doug scorgie

    24 Apr, 2014 - 2:29 pm

    James
    24 Apr, 2014 – 9:15 am

    “I read the book and enjoyed it a great deal. It is informative, witty and I learned some stuff. Am I the only one?”

    Looks like it James. As the saying goes: “there’s always one…”

    As one reviewer of the book said:

    “This is a book for losers, who’ll tow the line, and follow blindly.”

  62. I occasionally watch the HoC live Jives. Lately when Straw speaks, which is fairly often, the responses make my flesh creep. Oleaginous and complimentary of the great part he has played for this country, etc. etc. This is prior to his leaving at the next election. Lord Straw of…….? He sits there pretending to be embarrassed but actually loving it.

    btw Bercow has got through wads of our money. £100k pa to be exact. Sorry it’s from the Mail.

    Speaker John Bercow has run up half a MILLION pounds in expenses – including £26,000 in formal dresswear and £100,000 in overseas jaunts
    •Commons Speaker John Bercow has notched up £495,592 bill since 2009
    •This includes £26,000 in formal dresswear – with £3,700 on just two suits
    •£100,000 incurred on overseas trips and £170,000 on official entertaining
    •Details of office expenses were revealed under Freedom of Information laws

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2609342/Speaker-John-Bercow-run-half-MILLION-pounds-expenses-including-26-000-formal-dresswear-100-000-overseas-jaunts.html

    I notice he voted ‘very strongly’ for the Iraq war.
    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10040/john_bercow/buckingham/votes#foreign

  63. PS I see Bercow took £2,500 from BLiar’s tennis partner Lord Levy.

    He went to Israel way back under the auspices of the Conservative Friends of Israel and latterly sponsored by Christian Aid. I will remember that when one of their collecting tins is rattled at me.

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/regmem/?p=10040

  64. “almost before my book was published, ..”

    Meaning – “very soon after my book was published”

    Hah!

  65. James,

    “Fiddling Amazon doesn’t seem to be the snidest…” etc..

    Correct-for most people-but if you’re a supposed journalist it should be career suicide.

    That’s the issue here.

    [Jives here objected to an anti-Semitic comment, which I have now seen and deleted. Craig]

  66. By Ian Sinclair who commented here earlier.

    How the UK is helping to feed the flames of war in Syria
    by Ian Sinclair
    Peace News
    19 April 2014

    Covert US and British support for Syrian rebels has continued, despite overwhelming public opposition.

    /..
    http://peacenews.info/blog/7652/how-uk-helping-feed-flames-war-syria

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/thread/1398340526.html
    Excellent as the Medialens commenters say.

  67. Then what happens? Amazon deletes the one star reviews and does not delete the five star reviews, put up in exactly the same timescale. Is that a treatment they give to every author? Why did Amazon do this? Why did they remove one star ratings and none of the five star ratings? I think we should be told.

    Great post Craig…and your follow up comment above seems to have shut up the usual suspects.

    As for Kempe whining that you can’t make a judgement on a book without reading it from cover to cover, well, presumably he applies the same principle to films, plays, TV serials, restuarant meals, bottles of wine etc, and perseveres in all cases to the bitter end before pronouncing on the quality of the same- whereas an intelligent person at some point decides the ‘life is too short…’ maxim applies.

  68. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    24 Apr, 2014 - 4:26 pm

    Scorgie

    “As one reviewer of the book said:

    “This is a book for losers, who’ll tow the line, and follow blindly.””
    ______________________

    I wouldn’t give much credence to any reviewer who ignorantly writes

    “tow the line”

    instead of

    “toe the line”.

    Surprised, by the way, that you didn’t pick that one up, Doug.

  69. Old Mark. You spoke 1 minute too soon!

  70. Kempe:
    “If anything Aaronovitch didn’t go far enough, sure Voodoo Histories was published before Sandy Hook and Boston so he wasn’t able to cover the despicable hounding of victims and the bereaved by sick individuals convinced that they’re actors”

    I laugh myself to death.

    BTW I bought the book for 99p on ebay. On the subjects there I had researched deeply, Aaro came across as little more than a gatekeeper.

    Perhaps you can encourage Aaro to write about SH & Boston and all the other recent fake media events so we can have another good chuckle.

  71. Have posted a review on how ironic it is that a book on conspiracies supposedly never happening involves a conspiracy by the author and his friends to post fake 5 star reviews of it – and what this tells you about how much you can trust anything Aaronovitch writes. Chances of that review being published pretty much none, so maybe i’ll do a blog post about it.

  72. Oh dear. The scissors have come out against me, yet again.

    [craigmurray.org.uk - A comment by James was deleted, so Jemand's orphaned reply which quoted it in full had to go too.]

  73. wow – i’m wrong – they did put my review up

  74. Resident Dissident

    24 Apr, 2014 - 9:34 pm

    Having read both Voodoo Histories and Murder in Samarkand all I can say that Aaronovich admitting to posting fake reviews on Amazon in order to counter poor reviews, which I suspected Amazon deleted because they were no doubt libellous (just look at the type of comments made here on the very mention of his name) is hardly the worst offence that an author has had the courage to admit to publicly. Is it Craig?

    I’m afraid that Aaronovitch has a different world view to most on this blog and to his credit he argues it well and consistently. Those who are fair minded and grown up are quite capable of understanding that others may have different views from their own and can still be decent people and just confine themselves to the arguments that they raise – others cannot.

    Mark Golding – I think you will find that Aaronovich offers rather more arguments than Occam’s Razor – or can we dismiss everything you say based on your first argument?

  75. I have only read bits of Aaronovich’s columns years ago and that was enough for one eternity. I have also seen him on T.V. a couple of times drumming up support for hideous military actions which he has no intention of going anywhere near but which kill and maim others. He has an unpleasant face, an unpleasant manner and comes across as a thoroughly unpleasant man. I wouldn’t read his book if he paid me to do it and I am not in the least surprised that he fraudulently tried to boost his book’s ratings.

    Murder in Samarkand however is, though depressing in much of the shady goings on it describes, and excellent and thoroughly readable book. I give it “five stars” right here and recommend it to all who have not yet read it.

  76. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    25 Apr, 2014 - 12:23 am

    Richard

    “He has an unpleasant face, an unpleasant manner and comes across as a thoroughly unpleasant man.”
    __________________

    Have you read Orwell’s essay called “Benefit of Clergy”?

    You should.

  77. Resisent Dissident,

    “I’m afraid that Aaronovitch has a different world view to most on this blog and to his credit he argues it well and consistently. Those who are fair minded and grown up are quite capable of understanding that others may have different views from their own and can still be decent people and just confine themselves to the arguments that they raise – others cannot.”

    ******

    Congrats bro!

    I hereby enter you as frontrunner for 1st prize in Pseud’s Cormer-Patronising Redux.

  78. ” It is interesting because in the case of Murder in Samarkand at least four positive reviews have been deleted by Amazon from time to time. I don’t know why but see Biodiplomacy’s comment above oh his review being deleted for naming Tony Blair. No negative review of Murder in Samarkand by Amazon has ever been deleted. Does the difference reflect a political agenda in which books they boost? ”

    One would hope not. Did you challenge Amazon regarding the deleted reviews?

    In a way I’m surprised that Amazon would delete any positive review providing it wasn’t libellous, they are after all a business and positive reviews help sales. I suppose though the reviews have to be seen to be honest for them to be trusted and have any value. Whilst it doesn’t make it right I would imagine that what Aaronovitch did is very common and that Amazon, like TripAdvisor, must be wise to it. It’ll be interesting to see their response to your questions.

    Whilst I’m sure you have good reasons to dislike Mr Aaronovitch do you not think you’re making a mountain out of a molehill here? Of all the things going on around us at the moment someone trying to hype his book on Amazon five years ago is hardly earth shattering.

    On the subject of the book itself the description of it as “shoddy” if totally incorrect at least pleased the majority of posters here who you must’ve noticed by now are conspiracy theorists to one degree or another.

    Speaking of which welcome Felix. For those that don’t know Felix is a regular on the David Icke forum who is of the firm opinion that anything and everything that happens (including the Apollo Theatre ceiling collapse) is a false flag “psy-op”. He should fit in very well.

  79. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    25 Apr, 2014 - 9:27 pm

    Kempe

    Are you trying to make Felix infelix?

  80. Macon Richardson

    26 Apr, 2014 - 11:28 pm

    Habbabkuk, I noticed the “tow the line” comment, too. My reaction was somewhat different from yours or Mary’s. While Scorgie’s misunderstanding (or misspelling)of “toe the line” may speak volumes about him, I loved it and I’m going to steal it. The ambiguity in the spoken words is wonderful.

    But let’s be charitable. Perhaps Scorgie is a bargeman, in which case he would be more familiar with towing the line than you or I, we who are used to being “on the mark”. Perhaps English is not his native language. Or perhaps it was simply a typographical error. Judge not!

    This is my first visit to Craig Murray’s blog (referred to it by Gilad Atzman)and I have delighted in reading the comments. Thank you all! (Oh, except Kempe!)

    I’ll be back!

  81. Macon Richardson – My comment was to Old Mark who had said:

    Great post Craig…and your follow up comment above seems to have shut up the usual suspects.

    I said he spoke one minute too soon, as the post from ‘Habbabkuk’ arrived one minute after Old Mark’s!

  82. “Thank you all! (Oh, except Kempe!)”

    Oh dear, did I hit a nerve?

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